Last night, at 5:00pm, a car with no plates strafed the life-force out of Shabtai von Kalmanovic, a former KGB spy turned shady (basketball) businessman.
Whatever the man’s associations, the more interesting aspect of the story to me is the graphic pictures of the crime scene all over the press: a bloodied von Kalmanovic slumped over in the passenger’s seat of his black Mercedes.
This is something the Russian press loves to show because the Russian public gobble-gobble-gobbles it up. Here, for example, is the crime scene of the murder last fall of former Cechen rebel Ruslan Yamadayev.
Perhaps this fascination stems from the fact that contract killings are relatively rare compared to the gangland era of the 1990s. Or because it’s just sickly fascinating. Still, these are the kinds of pictures that the American press — which always sticks in a picture of the person looking very much alive and dignified — for better or for worse, just won’t give its readers.